Having faced the global crisis, countries are only starting to trailblaze the path toward normalcy. Although an epidemiological endpoint is still out of reach, organizations are preparing for the ‘next normal’ and embracing novel strategies to gain a competitive edge and accelerate productivity.
For that, companies modified their businesses once and for all through digital transformation (DT) and delivering more goods and services online. Statista mentions that by 2024, the global spending on DT will double in comparison with 2020 and comprise $2.39 trillion!\
However, any changes are challenging, and digital ones are even more challenging. Organizations still struggle with implementing highly complicated solutions with AI, IoT, AR/VR, blockchain, or other modern technologies at the core.
To ride the wave of innovation and attain boosted productivity and quality at speed, companies may focus their efforts on quality assurance. But what QA tendencies to consider in 2022 to build an effective testing process and gain a competitive edge?
In the article, we will cover the top 5 software testing trends that will influence industry development in the years ahead and help businesses mitigate the COVID-19 aftermath.
#1 – Continuous evolution of Agile and DevOps methodologies
Organizations now are adjusting themselves to the post-pandemic era, and this process is characterized by the growing stake in introducing innovations and fit-for-purpose approaches.
For instance, we’ve already observed the uptick in the shift to the DevSecOps culture tailored to help organizations deliver good-to-go code with built-in security from the get-go. Others infuse QAOps into their CI/CD pipelines, making QA a major function in the software development process.
However, adopting novel practices inevitably means the rising need for a right-skilled talent pipeline. It is here when an issue of great concern arises.
According to the World Quality Report 2021-22 (WQR), 44% of survey participants experience the shortage of expertise of agile testing teams, while another 31% stated that they face a gap in test environment, containerization, and test data skills.
When it comes to easing the process of embedding in-demand methodologies and simultaneously optimizing their testing strategies, businesses can do the following:
- Shift QA activities left to care about software quality and prevent issues early in SDLC
- Rely on automated testing to build, test, and ship IT products faster
- Leverage AI to enable optimization of test cases
- Apply smart online dashboards to ensure end-to-end quality monitoring in real time.
However, the most important recipe for success features the need to focus on business requirements and organizational culture, as well as develop the ability to embrace change.
Why is sticking to Agile and DevOps so significant for companies today? When implemented right, these methodologies can save the day. Almost two-thirds of IT business representatives mentioned that they managed to boost productivity, software quality, delivery velocity, and the cost of quality.
#2 – Quality engineering (QE) as a major function in digital transformation support
COVID-19 pandemic has expedited the adoption of digital technologies worldwide. Global research by Statista indicates that an overwhelming 97% of respondents admitted a boost in DT processes velocity in their companies, while 68% assumed that DT speed was impressive.
To handle increased demand in remote work and ensure business continuity, companies had to accelerate the digitization of supply chain interactions and significantly enlarge the number of digitally-driven solutions.
This is no surprise when considering the outcomes — improved productivity and efficiency, enhanced CX, polished quality, better organizational agility and flexibility, decreased expenses. There are even more benefits on the agenda.
However, the path to digital adoption is hard. Companies must embrace novel technologies and approaches like 5G, edge computing, AI, IoT, intelligent automation, embedded software… How to do it right, ensure high IT product quality, and mitigate cybersecurity and data privacy risks?
Organizations may support software releases with QE. Focused on defect prevention and high velocity, it helps embed quality into the entire development process to reach seamless software operation and engaging user experience.
While doing so, businesses have already marked must-have skills QE engineers should possess in the future to cope with sophisticated tasks — cloud computing, cybersecurity, big data and analytics (WQR).
Nevertheless, the pace of change will likely slow down, and it’s great that despite facing novel challenges, companies are doing their utmost to ensure the impeccable operation of smart digital environments.
#3 – AI and ML to attain a smart testing approach
According to Statista, in North America alone, the profit from the AI software market will skyrocket and comprise $50 billion by 2025.
From accounting and HR to digital marketing and travel industry, AI is making its way to disrupting business environments and boosting organizational capabilities. And software testing industry is no exception.
The WQR highlights that in the future, we’ll witness the increasing implementation of this technology to strengthen the QA efforts, for instance, test automation.
Used to develop and maintain automated scripts as well as enable scriptless automation and self-healing, AI will expedite testing time and improve quality due to eliminating the human intervention factor. In this regard, Gartner states that by 2023, 40% of infrastructure and operations teams in large-sized companies will give preference to AI-augmented automation for the sake of improving organizational efficiency.
Eliminating excessive test cases within a suite, predicting issues in test models, test prioritization, and AI-driven analytics in software testing will also continue to constitute mature trends in the years to come.
Although skill gaps needed from QE experts and associated with test strategy and test design, setup and generation of test data, bias and ethical validation in AI, and some others still exist, already today, more and more companies leverage this mighty innovation to improve the accuracy of testing results, enhance overall software quality, and decrease time to market.
#4 – Intelligent automation to get faster business outcomes
Test automation implementation will keep gaining momentum in the years ahead. Not surprising due to its multiple benefits — from better defects detection to reduced test cycle time. For example, within the WQR report, half of 1,750 of the interviewed IT leaders asserted that their test automation efforts are paying off, while almost 70% marked improved control and transparency of QA activities.
It’s been rather challenging for organizations to engage the right-skilled specialists (e.g., with AI/ML or test automation architecture skills). However, businesses across diverse industries increase test automation adoption levels and gradually enlarge the scope of automation techniques in use.
So, in the future, we may face a growth in the application of:
- Robotic process automation (RPA) to significantly streamline test activities and decrease human intervention
- A scriptless (no-/low-code) approach to automation to maximize reuse and minimize the need for hand-coding
- Self-healing automation to provide tests with the ability to automatically update themselves to avoid failure if the function has changed
- Headless automation to extend testing coverage, boost velocity and performance by fulfilling more tests in a real browser environment
- Automation of test data to briskly find and compile the right data for each test, enabling a less resource-intensive testing process.
However, to bear fruit from intelligent test automation adoption and maintenance, companies should always remember a cardinal rule — aligning processes to unique business needs.
#5 – IoT testing to support the operation of interconnected devices
Statista again shares quite impressive data and valuable insights — the worldwide amount of IoT devices will rise to 25.4 billion in 2030, while IoT annual global revenue will grow from $389 billion in 2020 to $1 trillion!
By representing the network of devices that communicate with one another and share data, IoT brings to the table multiple business benefits like efficient operation management, work safety improvements, reduced human labor, and many others.
Moreover, the uptick in the adoption of a constantly connected 5G technology, the boom in DT, IoT sensors usage in eHealth to fight the pandemic has made this innovation one of the pivotal technologies for businesses in the years ahead.
Noteworthy is the IoT role in the emergence of smart cities, which have seen an increase in popularity. Just imagine: China alone is deploying approximately 800 smart city programs across the country. While Statista predicts that the worldwide revenue for smart city technologies, products, and services will attain $129 billion this year.
Keeping on the subject — Singapore, Dubai, and Oslo are great examples of the most impactful growing smart cities today, ensuring their citizens a higher quality lifestyle. From connected vehicles and smart waste management solutions to smart air quality monitors and grids, their potential is almost limitless, with IoT at the core of their operation.
This is why comprehensive IoT testing should become a part of the software creation process. And a special emphasis should be placed on cybersecurity as the devices are connected to the Internet, which increases the probability of fraudulent attacks. IoT penetration testing focused on verifying all possible combinations of devices and sensors will help spot vulnerabilities and system flaws.
Other high-priority testing types include functional, performance, compatibility, usability testing, test automation all aimed at eliminating interoperability challenges and improving the quality of IoT-enabled networks.
The increased role of quality assurance
COVID-19 is the problem we’ll all have to live with for the long haul. Luckily, businesses have shown the signs of successful adaptation to a briskly changing situation — accelerated digital transformation pace, agile mindsets, and willingness to adopt innovations are among them.
However, digital adoption is challenging, requiring a whole set of professional skills and timely QA support. Open-minded companies have become more aware of software quality importance and may focus on the defining QA trends that will rule the industry in the upcoming year.
Among them, it’s possible to highlight:
- The continuous popularity of Agile and DevOps
- QE as a means to support digital transformation
- The use of AI and ML to test smartly
- Automation to get faster business outcomes
- IoT testing to ensure swift operation of interconnected devices.
By sticking to the technology-driven strategy with quality assurance at the helm, businesses can increase organizational performance and expedite the delivery time of quality software, so requisite in the post-pandemic world.